The Meroogal Women’s Art Prize celebrates the creativity and achievements of female artists across NSW, and pays tribute to the four generations of women from the Thorburn and Macgregor families who lived at Meroogal in Nowra for almost 100 years.

The work of 35 female artists is exhibited in the historic house of Meroogal and its garden and grounds, throwing new light on the stories of the people who lived there and the house’s rich collection of objects.

Take a guided tour of the house and exhibition, vote for your favourite artwork in the People’s Choice Awards and leave your mark on the progressive 'Water picnic' outdoor installation.


1st Prize: $7000, SLM membership, and a Bundanon Trust artist-in-residence scholarship

Tamara Dean, Transience, photograph 

Transience depicts the ever-present, ever-changing play of light and shadow across the house. Judge Lisa Havilah commented: ‘Tamara has perfectly captured the changing beauty and histories of Meroogal. The shadow cast by banksia rose so beautifully represents the interconnectedness of the house and its gardens’.

2nd Prize: $3000 and SLM membership

Kim Davies, Carpet moth, hessian, cotton fabric, woollen and cotton yarn, wire, upholstery tacks

Carpet moth pays tribute to the industriousness of the people who lived here, and to the role of the museum, attempting to still the corruption of time, dust and moths so that we may glance back into the women’s everyday lives.

Highly Commended Award: SLM membership and solo exhibition opportunity at Shoalhaven Regional Gallery, Nowra 

Beth Norling, not all things are washed away, soap, ink

Alluding to the loss of the family’s possessions in a devastating 1860 flood at Terara, this work depicts objects that remain at Meroogal and imagines the moments that are forever gone.

The People’s Choice Award: $500 and SLM membership. 

Kylie Douglass, Womandala, cuttlefish bone
Beth Norling, not all things are washed away, soap, ink


List of finalists

22 September 2018 - 30 March 2019
MWAP logos 2020

Latest news from Meroogal

Set of blue and white patterned objects on dark timber dresser.


‘Go women!’ Meroogal Women’s Art Prize 2020Wednesday 9 December 2020

Celebrating women’s lives, creativity and stories in the ‘women’s house’ of Meroogal, this year’s prize received a rich and diverse range of entries. 

Visitors in the front yard at Meroogal
Handwritten letter with handwritten envelope on top.


Armistice Day: ‘the bells are ringing’Friday 9 November 2018

In early November 1918, Australians knew that the end of World War I was imminent and that an armistice was about to be signed between Germany and the Allies. After some false reports and premature peace rejoicings, the armistice was finally signed in France at 5am on Monday 11 November and came into effect at 11am Paris time. Reverend Tom Thorburn, Presbyterian minister, described how events unfolded in a letter written a few days later to his sister Tot Thorburn at Meroogal in Nowra.